Screen printing techniques are being used to develop complex circuits that contain both power and control electronics.
The patented method developed by Welwyn Electronics, a TT Group company, continues the work with copper-based ink which can be screen printed at a thickness of as little as 25 microns.
Using multiple screen printed copper prints, thicknesses of up to 170 microns are possible. This could lead to smaller, more efficient electronic devices.
Thin and narrow thick-film-copper (TFC) tracks are used for the control circuits to give high circuit density; thicker and wider TFC tracks are used for power circuits to enable high currents to be carried without overheating.
The technology also allows Welwyn to print resistors onto the substrate rather than use conventional surface mount technology.
Various memory devices printed in this way, together with the power supply, greatly reduce the size of component packaging, the company says.
Surface mount is also labour intensive, involving the placement of parts, usually from a variety of suppliers, onto the substrate to build the electronic module.